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  • New Posts

      • 1
      Master Ken's Knife Hand Strike
      This video looks at the destructive power of Master Ken's knife hand strike. Of course, to learn more realistic knife hand strikes, you should visit the wiki's section on punches & hand strikes :) -

      Black Belt Wiki
      • 1
      Grab and knife defense
      Knife attacks often start with the empty hand, here i disrupt the grab and rake the eyes as he thrusts the knife
      • 2
      Top 10 Ways to Practice Kata
      These are not originally written by me, but they are my top 10 favorite methods of practicing all of my kata. These are methods that I actively use in my own practice.

      1.) Practice kihon. By practicing these basic techniques (known as “kihon waza”), you will magically improve every single kata you know. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

      2.) Practice smaller sequences of the kata. Narrow it down and just practice specific sequences in order to improve the whole.

      3.) Do the kata with just your lower body and then with just your upper body. Isolate the singularity of each movement.

      4.) Do the kata as slowly as you can with 100% singularity of technique. Focus on the feeling of total body movement with each transition.

      5.) Do the kata with your eyes closed. Shutting off a sense will significantly increase the awareness and focus of your other senses.

      6.) Do the kata in your head (visualize). Our brains are surprisingly bad at discerning whether something happens in real life or “just” in our imagination. Use this to your advantage to practice your kata on the bus, at the grocery store, in the shower, at work, in bed or wherever.

      7.) Do the kata in your everyday clothes. Shoes too. Are your movements suddenly becoming impractical? Why? That’s just silly. Make them practical.

      8.) Roll a dice. Do the kata as many times as the dice shows. Choose another kata. Roll the dice again. Et cetera. Repeat for a set amount of time.

      9.) Do the kata and pretend you’re “angry”. You’ll evetually dip into the limbic system (lizard brain) and actually become angry. That’s when things happen. You might cry. That’s okay. Nobody needs to see. It’s all about learning to ride your emotions, channeling them through the kata, eventually getting into the flow. With practice, you will be able to flip this switch instantly.

      10.) Lastly, just do the whole kata as if your life depended on it. No second thoughts. No looking back. No retreat. No surrender. Take no prisoners. If your gi isn’t totally messed up, and your belt isn’t on the ground next to a pool of vomit and a pool of sweat, then well, old sport, you probably just didn’t try hard enough. Try again. Refocus.
      • 1
      My Journey to Nidan
      After recently receiving my Second Degree (Nidan) Black Belt from Sensei Norman Beck (an honor that I am both proud of and humbled by), I wanted to take a look back and reflect on that journey in a very technical way. I decided to sit and make a list of all of the various kata, forms, and drills that I've learned and worked through over the years, including the 7 new forms of which I have had the honor of being part of their creation over my past two years of training in the way of Kosei-Ryu Bu-Jutsu.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi Kristopher

        Thanks for the posts. Just remember for the future that multiple blog links are frowned upon within the wiki community. Infrequent links are okay if they are needed to illustrate an idea, contribute something to a long discussion, etc.

        Black Belt Wiki
      • 1
      My Black Belt Journey
      It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I've taken that single step multiple times in my life. Each time, the journey made me a little smarter, a little stronger, and a little more humble in the person that I know myself to be. My journey in the martial arts is no different... as a matter of fact, it has played a huge role in my journey through life.

      The following is a brief writing of that journey...
      • 3
      How common is it for people to be passed along in Rank when they are clearly not...
      The other night I sat waiting for my class to start and watched a group of Black Belt Candidates working through one of the poomsae. They will be testing for their black belts in two weeks.

      Now to put this in perspective, for the first two years we learn only eight poomsea. Then the third year we are tested on those same eight again, two at a time.

      So when you are ready to test for your black belt, as this group is, you test with those eight poomsea among other a whole list of other things.

      I work on them weekly, sometimes daily. This has been a huge benefit to me, as I not only enjoy them, but if I am not focusing on remembering the next move in the sequence, I am focusing on doing it better.

      Many, if not all I watched had forgotten many of the moves.

      Again and again they made mistakes, looked at each other to see what comes next. It was painful to watch them.

      As I watched I felt this passion for Taekwondo just burning in me. I kept thinking a person ready for a black belt test should not have to be shown the moves like a novice.

      I understand that there will always be different levels of executing techniques, and knowing my own physical limitations I never judge others.

      Eventually I turned the passion inward and it made me determined to work even harder on everything. I do not want to be in the same category next year when I am ready to test for my own black belt.

      As many of you know, I studied Tang Soo Do over thirty years ago, I have only started studying Taekwondo these past two years. I don't want to sound all "Get off my lawn" about this, but is what I am seeing common now? This would never have flown "back in my day". Is this what schools have to do now to keep the lights on?
        • 1
        Kristopher J. Linville A great teacher can develop a poor martial artist just as easy as a poor teacher can develop a great martial artists. The majority of the power and responsibility for the type of martial artist that a student becomes is within the student. Self-motivation to consistently train with techniques given will determine the true strengths of a student... regardless of the system.

        That being said, in my area, Tae Kwon Do is generally positioned as "Karate for Kids" and as such hold the opinions of the paying parents in higher regard than the development of the children being trained. Little Johnny is almost guaranteed to get his 6th stripe on his camouflage belt as long as mommy and daddy paid the $50 testing fee and is current on their $70/mo class fees. Otherwise, mommy and daddy will likely chose a less expensive hobby for their children to fail at.

        That seems a bit harsh of an opinion, but there is a reason that the stereotype of "McDojo" exists and the widely used mockery of "Pay Kwon Do" is seen all over the place. It's an unfortunate truth that capitalist society has moved martial arts schools into for-profit businesses where quantity is greater than quality.

        I honestly believe that all systems, all techniques, and all concepts have something to teach us. We much approach everything with a beginner mind and draw what benefit we can from the simplest of things. But we must also remind ourselves that ultimately it is up to us to travel our own journey and seek out a teacher that will point us in the right direction and let us stumble over our own truths. Sometimes, that truth is... we suck... and that should be ok.... just take the next step, and the journey continues.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki In my neck of the woods, it seems to be mainly kids who are passed when they are not ready. I don't know if this is due to the school just wanting to get the black belt testing fee or the parent pushing a reluctant kid to get the test over with (even though the kid lost interest in training a couple of years ago due to homework, school sports, etc).

        Thankfully, this is only a small percentage of the kids getting their black belt.

        • 1
        Dave Magliano It all really falls on the teacher. A good teacher (in my opinion) will take the individual strengths and weakness of each student and highlight these in order for that student to learn. This is easy to do when you have few students, much harder when you have 30 or more.

        This is why each dojo or dojang must develop standards that everyone must meet. Rank means very little without standards. Unfortunately, standards are often waved in the interest of gaining and maintaining students, especially if the head of the dojo makes his/her living this way.

        Sounds to me like you have the right attitude. In the end, your tae kwon do is, well, yours. It is what you make it. If you set the correct standards for yourself, push yourself, then it really doesn't matter what anyone else is or is not doing. My two cents.
      • 3 more comments
      • 1
      Do you know any ex Karateka training after a heart attack operation or if it is allowed?
        • 1
        Kristopher J. Linville First and foremost... Ask the doctor(s) for physical activity release. Then obey the doctor(s).

        After that, trust your body. Start slow and ease into it so that your body has ample time to let you know where the line is and how much you can push it before you've gone to far.

        Soft forms and stretching with only a little cardio can be a great way for students with any type of physical limitation to work up to more intense training, but every one in an individual and should be treated as such.
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Dave Magliano There are several considerations to keep in mind. Open heart surgery requires separation of the sternum or chest wall which is the origin of the pectoral muscles. The pectoral muscles along with several key accessory muscles groups (including the intercostals between the ribs) are highly involved in forward movements such as seiken. All of these muscles are involved in any kicking movements as they act as stabilizers for the torso. Thus any movement outside of normal daily living activities is typically avoided for 6-8 weeks after surgery.

        Another consideration is why this person had a heart attack. If he/she is a typically healthy individual, e.g. not overweight and gets plenty of exercise, then other considerations such as diet, family history, stress, etc. are factors in recovery.

        People who have undergone such an event are typically placed on a cardiac rehab program by their physician or heart surgeon about two weeks after surgery and this program can last anywhere from 3-6 months. If I had a student who wanted to return to training after such an event, I would have him/her wait at least 6 weeks and then start them back with slowly executed kihon and kata, exenterating the deep breathing aspects of the art in order to strengthen the abdominal and intercostal muscles. No hard training for 3-6 months (depending on the individual) and no kumite for 6 months or more. Above all, the student would not return to training (with me) without consent from the surgeon.
        • 1
        Al W I know of one who retired from Karate from a heart attack but none returning.

        I suppose it wouldn't be an issue is you let people know that you had one, also if you take it really easy to begin with, and don't exert yourself

    Visit the New Posts section for all of the recent posts.

    Top Rated Posts

      • 10
      What questions to ask before joining a martial arts school?
      It is very important that beginners ask many questions before joining any martial arts schools. This will help them to avoid financial headaches, inappropriate styles, training problems, McDojos, 25 year old Grand Masters, etc.

      What key questions would you suggest that new students ask?

      For example, I would suggest that students ask if the school has a low priced trial period in order to get acquainted with the school, system, instructors & students (before signing any longer-term contracts). Then ask if there is any required contracts (i.e. annual contract, month-to-month contract, etc.) and then ask what are the extra costs (i.e. additional testing fees). Students need to determine the real cost of training and the length of this financial commitment.

      Please help beginners by listing some essential questions that should be asked before joining any martial arts school.

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 5
        Al W Questions I would personally ask the instructor of the class
        1: How long have you been training?
        2: How long have you been teaching?
        3: How often should I train?
        4: How much do lessons cost?
        5: How do I pay for lessons?
        6: How much does membership cost?
        7: How often do you grade students?
        8: Is there any extra cost for gradings?
        9: Do I need to purchase a uniform?

        But most of all ask yourself "Is this the Martial Art for me?"
        • 3
        ChuckD The thing I like about the school I'm at is people can try a few classes for free. Also there is no contract. The instructor literally said if he is not teaching well enough to keep people there with out a contract then something needs to change. There is a small belt test fee of 20 dollars up to like 30 or 40 for higher ranks but that is only like 1-2 times per year and maybe 3 times a year for an adult.

        I think the best thing is to take a few classes and what how the instructor behaves and how the senior students behave. Are they helpful to new students? Respectful etc...
        • 2
        Mike First, are there really schools that won't let you watch before you join? I can't think of one in our local market.
        After a few years in MA, a few different schools and countless instructors the first thing I would ask or at least look for is cleanliness, "do you clean your mats and equipment", "how often", "with what".
        How often do we train with the high belt /master?
        Observation gallery?
        Flexible class schedules?
        Can I train with my wife/kids?
      • 48 more comments
      • 8
      What movie inspired you to start your martial arts training?
      I was inspired by many movies (i.e. Bruce Lee, etc.). However, the ones that really stick in my mind are the Seven Samurai and some of the old dubbed Kung Fu movies (esp. the movies with Gordon Liu).

      As a kid, I always loved martial arts movies where it was good fighting evil and where hardwork & dedication overcame training difficulties.

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 3
        Lil Sarnt It wasn't a movie that inspired me initially. My first inspiration was the old TV show "Kung Fu." I used to watch this as a child and then go outside and reenact the episodes. I was a strange little kid.
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Karate cowboy? Far off. Billy Jack was a Hapkido expert and of Navaho indian background! :)

        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        dtaylorbrazil It wasn't one movie but many English dubbed movies. During the winter time I enjoyed watching Kung-Fu Theatre. It seems like the plot was always the same. Bad Samurais or ninjas raid a town. A survivor travels and trains with a master while his wounds heal. He then comes back with several other victims and takes the village back.
      • 171 more comments
      • 7
      The Real Power Of What We Do
      I assume most of us using this platform have developed some type of martial arts background. We all have our own reasons for beginning this journey but I believe the majority would have to admit we started training to learn how to fight. If you stay in the game long enough, your ego gives way to a deeper purpose for the many hours (and injuries) accumulated from continuing along your chosen path. And though we may question ourselves at times (at least I do) as to why we keep training, if we're lucky we get a reminder of how much of an impact we have on others.

      That happened to me yesterday.

      After class, one of my students pulled me aside and admitted that when he started training with us over two and half years ago, he had a serious drug problem. Like a lot of people who come to our small dojo, he underestimated the physicality of what we do (aikibudo). He was uncoordinated, couldn't perform the simplest ukemi or footwork. He threw up a lot (we have a puke bucket just for that.) He was often frustrated and dejected after class, noting that he could not understand why this so difficult because other physical pursuits were typically easy for him. While I knew he initially had a poor diet, I had no idea he had dependency issues.

      But he kept coming. Week after week, he kept coming. Slowly but surely, his technique improved as did his demeanor and physical appearance. He trained despite minor injuries. He learned how to deal with the elements - our dojo is not heated or air conditioned. He learned how to handle discomfort. Most importantly, he learned and continues to learn how to mitigate his ego.

      We talk a lot about the impact good budo training has on the ego. By the way, the origin of the word "budo" may be Japanese but the meaning goes across the board. Anyway, I think most of us can agree that a poorly developed ego leads to all kinds of life issues. Drug and alcohol abuse, relationship problems, money problems...war. It all has to do with ego.

      In developed countries like ours, the majority of the population seeks comfort in various ways and thus feed their egos. Few people seek the discomfort of serious training in any form. Perhaps this is what the founders of our respective arts had in mind when they brought their knowledge to the world.

      Most of us can knock people down in some way, shape or form. We spend years toughening our bodies, perfecting our technique. Sooner or later the physical aspect of training gives way to a deeper purpose. We may train ourselves and others in some form of combat, but physical skill has limits. The potential impact we have on others is limitless.
        • 1
        Karin Fourie Thank you for a really good article Dave. Also Bill for your insightful comments. I am currently at that place where I'm trying to figure out why I keep on going to the dojo. I have a very full schedule juggling work and studying (studying again when you're in your fifties is not fun at all). Some evenings I'm so tired that I really can't face the 25 mile drive to the dojo and thus I haven't been there for the past month. It feels like part of me is missing. I have suddenly realised that I am focusing on my thoughts and inner self and am on a journey of self-discovery, all triggered by my guilty feelings of not training.

        I suspect when I'm done, I would have moved past my original reasons to take up karate again after thirty years, which was to obtain my black belt. I have done so last year and have since been looking for motivation to keep on training. I hope to find my motivation in becoming a better person with less issues than I currently think I have
        • 1
        Bill Emmes Hi Dave,

        This is a really a good article and a serious point that you have written. The timeline you describe is spot on. We all start with the idea of learning how to fight and protect ourselves. During the course of our training we are taught so many things aside from the physical and eventually, we find ourselves learning more about ourselves and a deeper inner awakening takes place.

        Early in our training we get frustrated with the inability to perform as good as others or what we expect from ourselves. But our instructors teach us that time and patience, along with continued practice, will allow us to eventually do these techniques equally well and execute them just fine. During our continued training, we are taught that our efforts to do well and try hard on everything we do and not to cherry pick the things we want to do well on is key to development in our training. This becomes the cornerstone of our discipline as we tend to carry this practice/philosophy into our everyday life.

        In this timeline, confidence begins to grow as patience and attention to details continue to permeate in everything we do. We find ourselves more accepting to the facts of frustration and learn how to deal with it and adjust our approach to practice, appreciating the lack of understanding by working harder to better understand and overcome these difficulties. We learn our own short comings and find ways to overcome them and work around them. This strength is an absolute result of the good Budo training and tends to find its way outside the Dojo into our everyday lives.

        What is not so easily seen is the transformation it can have on students over the years they are practicing. Normally, in conversation, you find out that some students have had a particularly hard time juggling their personal life and practice in the martial arts. The reasons can scale well beyond our comprehension and observation during class time as we strive to teach and mold solid martial arts "practices" at every class.
        Yet, at some point, you see either yourself or each instructor working with the class or one-on-one with a student spending more time instilling confidence along with all the philosophical reasoning of the art/techniques and not really the brutal aspects of fighting. In other words, the passing on of the inner awakening is infused with the routine class material, unseen or unaware.

        I honestly think the impact that this training has, certainly does go well beyond the physical as I see not only in myself, but in other students. The level of respect that is shown towards each other coupled with the eagerness to help train and make the next student better than you, demonstrates the impact our training has had on others who have grown past their own egos and personal difficulties. Plus, you may see this in the positive growth a student has achieved in their everyday life. It could be any milestone of achievement they attain to improve themselves by applying what they practice/learn in the Dojo.

        Most people look at this as the discipline martial arts has on people and that the hard core physical training, similar to a boot camp style does to mold people into shape and be good martial artists. What is not so apparent in the true understanding of what a complete martial artist is and can be? Techniques are endless. The ability to be a tough fighter is not the core competency of our training unless you are looking to be an open competitive fighter. Even then, a weak ego has no place in this training as it is the first link to defeat.

        No…the real power of what we do is far beyond that. To me, this is the reason why some students will remain in the arts for a lifetime as it has become more than a practice to them; it is their lifestyle, their belief, their religion. It becomes the core competency of everything they do inside and outside the dojo. Our ego is developed to a higher level of understanding and not one of instant gratification or toughness. It has become infused with deeper understandings, appreciation, trust, and confidence, respect loyalty to ourselves and others…and so much more!

        Great Article! Thank you for sharing.

        • 1
        ChuckD That reminds me of a saying I once heard "It is easier to have the tallest building in town if you tear down all the other buildings" Sometimes we need a reminder that helping others ultimately helps us all.
      • 6 more comments
      • 7
      Should martial arts instructors know CPR & first aid?
      When you combine out-of-shape middle aged adults and vigorous martial arts training, you have the potential for medical emergencies.

      Do your instructors know CPR & first aid? Or should they only know how to call 911? Does your school train for medical emergencies (i.e. heart attack, broken bones, serious bleeding, etc.)?

      Related question - How has your school dealt with medical emergencies in the past?

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 3
        Andrea Harkins "The Martial Arts Woman" Yes, for sure. While it's been a while since I've taken a course, my husband and son have both updated their training recently.
        • 3
        Llewena Carrero In Australia for emergencies you call "000".

        Most instructors I know have basic fist aid training or a First Aid Certificate.

        I have a First Aid Certificate and thankfully to date I haven't had to use my knowledge.
        • 2
        Trent Zelazny Taking a CPR class next week, actually. Everyone should probably know, in life in general, but especially when it involves anything physically active. I wish I had done it ages ago. Better late than never, I guess.
      • 81 more comments
      • 7
      New Wiki Members - Please Say Hello

      *This thread is now closed - If you want to say "Hi". please post a new topic and say hello. I apologize but new messages were getting lost as the thread was getting too long. Please add a new post as we would love to hear from you.

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      New Wiki Members - Please use this section to say hello to the community.

      We know that some new members can be a little intimidated if they have to start right off the bat by adding anything to an existing martial arts topic. Therefore, this section was designed to break the ice by allowing new members to leave a quick and/or short "hello" message. It was also meant as a way to help new members to become comfortable with the community's posting & commenting system before they attempt to add anything to the other topics.

      We have turned this post into a permanent section on the top tool bar of the wiki community. Hopefully, it will be a place where new members can feel comfortable introducing themselves to the community (versus having to jump straight into a martial arts discussion or posting a hello randomly on a non-related martial arts topic).

      Quick Tips - You can reply to this message by typing in the comment box below, you can follow all of the recent replies/comments made on this site by using the "Comments" section on the top tool bar and you can use the "Post Something" button (found on the top right of the main sections) to post a new main topic (i.e. question or video).

      Saying hello also saves you from becoming a hidden "lurker" who does not take full advantage of this friendly martial arts community. Everyone here wants to help you improve or to learn from your experience. FYI - Most if not all of the top-rated posts are still open for comments & replies.

      If you are too shy to post, you can also vote a topic/comment up or down. Members enjoy it when their commentary is received well and they receive positive feedback (either in words or up votes).

      **FYI** - This system is geared towards the best answers (those with most positive votes) rising to the top (so people can find a good answer quickly). The drawback is that new posts can be buried on this thread. To get around this issue for new member "hello" posts, you can always say hello by posting your initial message as a new main topic (click on the "Post Something" button) versus just replying to this post.

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        • 4
        Maryse Duchaussoy Hello everyone, I newly started kyokushin and needed some writing info that your site so kindly provide. I doubt I will be posting a lot as I am a novice on the topic, but I am looking forward to reading what you all have to say.
        • 0 4 votes
        • 3
        cecil Hi! At 52 years of age, I have been studying Kung Fu & Tai Chi for just over a year now. About to test for Green belt in the Kung Fu and Blue Sash in Tai Chi. As a teen, I briefly studied Isshinryu, but lack of transportation made it a brief study. Later, as an adult, I tried Tang Soo Do for a while and then settled on a Karate School that blended styles 'Empty Hands Martial Arts'. I fell away from the fitness life in my 40's due to career and other pressures. The recovery process for a badly broken leg a couple of years ago led me to getting my ass off the couch and back in gear. I will be learning other styles as I progress. Really enjoying being back in the arts. Looking forward to staying active for the rest of my days. I appreciate this site, it seems very comprehensive and informative.
        • 0 3 votes
        • 2
        Aaron Bennett Hi all.
        I'm 37, a Paramedic and live in New Zealand.

        I literally last week started training at a local Kyokushin club that my young son has been involved with for a couple of years.
        I'm motivated by the fact that I'm finished (formally) studying and needed a new project.
        I figure Karate will keep me fit and well hopefully physically and mentally.
        I guess you won't see me posting other than to ask questions as I'm only here to learn and have nothing of substance to add to any thread presently.

        Who knows if I'll still be training in 12 months time, however I've yet to start anything I didn't "finish".

        I look forward to getting to know some of you.
        • 0 2 votes
      • 411 more comments
      • 7
      Martial Arts Humor & Jokes
      Thought it would be really great to get some martial arts jokes to tell in class to break the ice with my young and new students in autumn, if you know of any jokes or humourous anecdotes that can appeal in a class, but still not let it descend into anarchy, I'd love to hear them.
      Let my kick off:
      "How many karate instructors does it take to change a lightbulb?"

      "100! One to change the bulb and 99 to say it would not work on the street!"
        • 5
        Andy So this guy walks into a bar.... Ok you can let him go now
        [176815,Alex] :)
        • 4
        Al W A Texas cowboy walks into a dojo thinking it’s a bar. Upon entering he says, “Well hell I thought this was a bar not a dance class.” This upsets the Sensei who approaches the cowboy and replies, “This is no dance class, this is martial arts dojo!” Then he politely bows to the cowboy. He then takes a stance and throws a sidekick, stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was side kick from Tae Kwon Do. Then politely bows again. He then throws a lighting fast palm heal strike, again stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was Tiger Palm from Chinese Boxing, “ and again politely bows. After which there is a loud “PRRINGGG!” The students stare in awe as their Sensei is out cold on the floor. Then the Texas cowboy says, Tell that guy when he wakes up… that was a crow bar from Home Depot.
        • 4
        Al W My cousin was an incredibly tough man. He was a karate black belt who eventually joined the army. Sadly the first time he saluted he killed himself.
      • 83 more comments
      • 6
      Reasons Why People Leave Our Dojo
      Anyone who teaches martial arts has to contend with the "revolving door syndrome." People come and people go. They might stay for a week, a month, maybe even a year and then they just stop training. The funny thing is, people often quit shortly after they finally decide to purchase a uniform and equipment. Some times I get a warning, other times people simply disappear. Of course, I will follow up with those folks to make sure they are ok and I typically get any number of excuses as to why they stopped training. Here are a few in no particular order with my response.

      "I don't have time to train." What things in life do you have time for? Just be honest and tell me it's not a priority for you. I can understand and accept that.

      "Aikido is too difficult; I just don't get it." Do you always avoid difficult things in life? There is no success without failure. Repeated failure is how you learn self control and discipline. Worthy pursuits are never easy.

      "I want to train, but life keeps getting in the way." What does that mean? If this is something that's really important to you, you will find a way. But don't blame life...that's on you.

      "You are too militant for me." You do understand that "martial" means military, right? I may have high expectations, but that's only because I've done this a long time and I know what it takes for you to learn it and be able to use it. If you want want to be taught by someone who will constantly stoke your ego, there are a lot of other folks out there who will gladly take your money.

      "I can't afford the lessons." When have I ever said you can't train if you can't pay? We can work something out.

      "Aikido doesn't work. It's not practical for the street." Your aikido doesn't work because you don't train often enough and when you do train, you don't commit yourself. If you want quick and easy, buy a gun.

      "I keep getting hurt." That's because you don't train or do anything physical outside of the dojo, or you still smoke or drink too much or have a poor diet. Learning a real martial art takes tremendous commitment that includes getting into and staying in good physical condition. You get hurt because you have not physically and mentally committed yourself to training.

      "I don't agree with wearing 16th Century uniforms. Nobody wears a gi in the street." The concept of the martial arts uniform (keikogi) has only been around for about 100 years. Uniforms soak up sweat and blood and help keep the training environment clean while protecting your skin from cuts and abrasions, allowing you to train for real confrontations.

      "I can only come once a week." I'm only asking for two nights out of seven. If your schedule is really hectic, then I will help you find a way. If that means training with you on a different day for a while I will do my best to accommodate you...but you have to meet me half way.

      "I found another art I'd like to try." Great! Keep training and drop me a line once in a while. The door is always open if you decide to come back.

      Some of this probably sounds a little harsh but I'm willing to bet there are a few teachers out there who have heard these excuses. It doesn't bother me if you decide to stop training or go somewhere else. I just want you to be honest with me...and yourself.

      Dave Magliano
      Jissenkan Aikido
        • 2
        Leon Reeder I think when people come to train in Tae Kwon Do they see all the neat things a train Martial Arts can do in the movies. They walk in expecting to do all these things in a short time. After a little bite of time reality sets in and then they realize this will take a long time and effort. I believe what my Korean master said is most American are somewhat lazy and expect things to be quick and easy. When it gets tough they simple quit. All the time I see people who come to class and they can not do the techniques or patterns because they simply do not practice. A lot of them will set on their butt and play video games and not practice. My Korean master has a description of a lot of Americans, they will go to the apple tree lay on their back, open their mouth and say apple drop right here. He said you have to get up and go get the apple. As an instructor I don't worry about those who leaves, I focus on those who stay.
        • 2
        Beth Loomer Even not being the main instructor I hear these excuses. Time and life are the two most common excuses I hear. I dont know why people cant just say, "I dont want to do this anymore." Why is that difficult? It would be more accurate most of the time. Although I do know a few people who really do want to be in there but just cant with their job schedules and that is the most frustrating. We even made a middle of the day class for those people and a few of them take advantage.
        • 1
        John Graden This is what I call the "Higher Purpose" excuse.
      • 25 more comments
      • 6
      Blackbelt Wiki Community 2nd Anniversary
      Last year we had our 1'st 'Birthday' as an online MA community so I thought this year we should change it up a bit and have an 'anniversary' instead :)
      Either way we are now officially 2 years old and going strong. Once again I would like to thank all of our active members for making this an excellent place to discuss, question, debate (occasionally make fun of) and otherwise just generally help and advise each other on the various aspects of our respective martial arts practice! I would also like to again encourage our non active (or new) members to get involved and start posting! Special thanks to @Christopher Adamchek and @Superamazingbadgerman for being (and remaining) active members since day one. Also a special thanks to all of our other regular active members (you know who you are, as do I but I can't be bothered to name you all and I don't want to risk offending anyone by forgetting to include them lol)! And last but not least, again and as always special thanks to @Will - Black Belt Wiki for creating both the wiki and this community in the first place. Ok that's this years speech over with 😂now for a big round of online internet emoji based applause! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
      PS as a special anniversary treat I have arranged a free bottle of sake for every member! To collect your free sake, simply go to your nearest store that sells the stuff, collect your 'free' bottle, tell them to put it on @Al W's account and run like hell! :)
        • 2
        Hermit Yep, a big thanks is needed for [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] from all of us, like a MA club, often the headaches from running things are more stress than someone needs, but we are thankful for a place to come and meet other crazies.... I mean martial arts lovers like us!!
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I also want to thank all of our ACTIVE members over the past 2 years such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [172230,Superamazingbadgerman] , [172080,Rachel DS] , [212430,James] , [212770,Al W] , [220601,Richie] , [218075,Michael] , [176815,Alex] , [217441,Ray] , [183970,David Ianetta] , [213500,Goldin Christie] , [172304,Llewena Carrero] , [172965,Philip Marc] , [199593,timothy] , [220307,Beth Loomer] , [227432,Nico] , [200995,Hermit] , [239084,Natasha] , [182588,ChuckD] , [217372,KSP08] , [235717,Logen Lanka] , [180146,Chris Ashcraft] , [231905,Rom Hamilton] , [175989,Karin Fourie] , [244169,Dave Magliano] , [181819,Ben] , [181024,Ceri Cat] , [177175,Antony] , [213158,Martin Alcala] , [172087,Ray McLean] , [172965,Philip Marc] , [189786,Kathryn Carson] , [181251,Hanmudo Hwarang] , [209759,Mary Cayte Reiland] , [235694,Joe Bramblett] , [200293,Sensei-Chap1] , [187953,Brandon] , [179113,Ralph] , [176848,Mark Winter] and everyone else who takes time out to contribute ideas and comments to this community. Your active participation helps to make this community fun and useful!!!

        For our non-active members, we hope you post occasionally because this will help to make the community even better (as it will add your experiences, knowledge, humor, insights, etc.).

        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki I also want to thank [171807,Andy] for all of his community moderating skills, humor, common sense (except when 2 liters of vodka are involved :) and most importantly his friendship.

        Black Belt Wiki
      • 19 more comments
      • 6
      Happy Birthday Blackbelt Wiki Community!
      Yes we are now officially 1 year old! First of all a big thank you to @Will - Black
      Belt Wiki for creating this community out of the ashes of the old black belt wiki message boards! I personally believe that this community is the best place currently available on the Internet for fellow martial artists to meet, discuss MA topics and interact in a safe and no
      BS environment. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate ALL fellow members for their contributions and for making my job as a community moderator so easy! Looking back over the past year it is perhaps ironic that I (as a moderator) have probably been the worst behaved on here (except for
      [172080,Rachel DS] who should be ashamed of herself for being such a bad influence and leading me astray on so many occasions)! :)
      My only wish is that more of our 300+ members would get involved and post something (anything!!! Lol). May our community continue to go from strength to strength (quick pass the barf bag!) and continue for many more years to come!
      I would also like to say a big 'screw you!' to all of the spam merchants that either I (but much more so Will) have had to delete and ban over this last year! Osu :)
        • 2
        Keston Destiny I want to thank Black Belt Wiki for allowing someone like me with no knowledge of karate into your lives. My daughters have been so prosperous on their journey through karate and it's been an enjoyment to be alongside them. I'm proud to say that after 14 trophies, 5 medals, and 5 tournaments my girls will be advancing to yellow belt on June 9th. So I'm very happy for this community and pardon my lack of activity, I do care.
        • 2
        Christopher Adamchek Wow, one year already
        • 1
        Rachel DS It has been a pleasure leading you astray [171807,Andy] and I mean that in the most innocent way possible. It is important to have a sense of humour at least proportional to one's sense of passion. I have certainly got a lot out of being involved in this online community and hope it kicks on despite the occasional knock out joke from any of us. 😂 O tonjobi emedeto gosaimashita and domo arigato gosaimashita to [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] for creating the community!
      • 13 more comments
      • 6
      Tiger Balm & Andy
      In honor of Andy, I have just now added Tiger Balm to the community store :) -

      Of course, we are still waiting for Tiger Balm to make [171807,Andy] an official spokesperson!

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Andy [171668,Black Belt Wiki], just had a look at the Chuck 'facts' :),did you know that when Chuck Norris was born he slapped the midwife and made HER cry? :)
        • 2
        Rachel DS [171807,Andy] tiger balm fixed my sore arm....that was good.....commend from kids' vacation care teacher when I dropped them off (freshly balmed for the day) - "you smell really good"......priceless.....So not only is it good for healing all ills it is apparently a good substitute for body spray / aftershave / perfume (insert name of favourite smelly product)
        • 2
        Rachel DS I think the first time I came across TB was in thailand. They put it on everything.....I am allergic to bee stings (ie difficulty breathing and lots of swelling etc) and we were on tour when a bee flew into our song tau and stung me on the arm - the tour leader put some on the sting and I got an icepack at the next town but we were miles from doctors / hospitals....between the tiger balm, a compression sock and some ventolin and antihistamines I managed to stay out of hospital!

        Incidentally [171807,Andy] the placebo effect is bone fide. I will have to find the study I just read on it. (This was applicable to reiki etc I think as opposed to TB but it would flow on to anything).

        I am going to put some TB on my arm in a tic (currently on ice) - practising bunkai with a partner tonight who got a little over zealous when I told him to do it harder......hopefully better by Sunday as that is the tourney.....:S I have 2 more training sessions and some work with my real bunkai partner to go before then too.
      • 19 more comments
      • 6
      A Karate Guy Never Gives Up
      An off shoot of Any inquiring about dropping out and having the natural spirit for martial arts. My nephew recently started taking classes (he is 4 years old) i was play sparing with him after class and gave up to fighting him and he told me "A karate guy never gives up" , it was adorable.

      Its all about spirit, he will most likely make this an important part of his life, im eager to see him grow in it.
        • 4
        Andy Here's another story about not giving up, 16 years ago i got my lower right leg crushed between 2 forklift trucks in an accident at work. The doctors said I would be lucky to walk properly again and to forget martial arts. I ended up with titanium screws in both sides of my ankle and a titanium plate grafted to the lower part of my right fibula, I was on crutches for the best part of a year. I still carried on practicing as well as I could and when I was undergoing physio therapy during my recovery the physio therapist informed me that I still had a better degree of pantoflection (whatever that means lol) than most other people and asked me if I practiced Ballet!!!! Look at my profile pic can you picture me in a tutu (don't answer that lol). Anyway I made a full recovery, have full mobility and can still perform full force kicks with my right leg (even though the doctors have advised me not to lol).
        • 2
        Andy Thanks for that Rachel that explains why I haven't been able to find any reference to what my physio therapist was talking about lol, oh and I think I'll stick to cross training as opposed to cross dressing. :)
        • 2
        Andy Chris that is great! :)
      • 11 more comments
      • 5
      Situational Awareness Introduction
      Situational Awareness

      This is a vast topic, and probably the most essential element of self defense. Being "Situationally Aware" will, most of the time, keep you from getting into a bind in the first place. But what is "Situational Awareness?"

      "Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event. It is also a field of study concerned with understanding of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas from aviation, air traffic control, ship navigation, power plant operations, military command and control, and emergency services such as fire fighting and policing; to more ordinary but nevertheless complex tasks such as driving an automobile or riding a bicycle." (Wikipedia; Situational Awareness Definition, first paragraph of page)

      "Who would be after ME?"

      So, in essence, Situational Awareness encompasses pretty much everything you do. But there are times when you are tired, distracted, busy, or complacent when you can be taken unaware, and that is what a potential assailant is looking for. You may say; "Who would even consider ME? Why would anyone think to rob (rape, assault, murder) ME?" Well, it is not about you, necessarily. Most crimes that are committed person-to person, the criminal does not know the victim. The criminal simply saw a target of opportunity. It is about opportunity. I has nothing to do with you, personally. In cases where the assailant knows the attacker, situational awareness is still a key component in keeping you safe from assault. And there is a large element of opportunity for the criminal involved.

      But how do you achieve the omni-potent status of being "SITUATIOANLLY AWARE."

      You need to focus on your surroundings and be effective at understanding what is a threat and what is not. It is perfectly alright to live a normal life. You do not need to go out armed to the teeth, guns drawn and wearing your black belt to show all that you are ready (and willing) to destroy all potential threats. There is quite a difference in being a paranoid and being a competent, normal individual (that is more than capable of avoiding bad situations, and God forbid, defending yourself if you get in a bad situation). But how do you achieve the omni-potent status of being "SITUATIOANLLY AWARE." The simple answer is that you already are. Refer to the definition (courtesy of Wikipedia) above. You have to be at least somewhat aware of your surroundings and what is going on to function. So the trick is to train yourself to heighten that awareness. On the "Internets" there is a wealth of information. Pretty much ANY topic you can think of, anything at all. If you plug your question into the search engine of your choosing, you will get literally hundreds of millions of results relating to said question. Situational Awareness is not any different. I simply typed "Situational Awareness" into the Google Search Bar and this was the result: About 2,970,000 results (0.71 seconds). There are training courses, schools, online free training, articles (probably not as good as this one), and on and on.

      A couple of Tips........

      Here are a few tricks that you can do to begin training yourself to automatically heighten your awareness. First thing.........PAUSE. That's it. Pause. Take a moment. Stop fiddling with your keys, texting, playing Pokemon Go,
      or whatever. Look around. Assess the situation: Is it dark, and if so, is the area you are in illuminated by street/parking lot lights? Are there people in the area? If so, are these people rightfully in the area (coming form the movie
      theater, bar, shopping mall), or are they just hanging out and looking around (maybe for a target of opportunity)? What next? You have PAUSED, you have LOOKED AROUND to identify potential threats. So, now what??
      That depends. If all seems safe, or if you can avoid potential problem areas and still get to your destination safely, then you would obviously proceed. If there is a reason to not proceed, for even the simple fact that you do not feel safe
      for any reason, get the onsite Security (if that is an option) to escort you, or call the police and explain that you are alone in a dark area and you do not feel safe going to your car. In most cases, they will send an officer to ensure that
      you get to your car, into your house, etc., safely. Do not be afraid to ask for help. It is better to ask for the escort than too have to call the police after the worst has happened so they can investigate the crime.

      Lets Wrap This Up!

      So. We PAUSED. We LOOKED AROUND to identify any potential threats, and we have DECIDED a safe course of action. That is the basics of becoming more proficient at being Situationally Aware, and thus, being better able to protect yourself. It is now up to you to refine this, and have it become second nature for you. Look into getting enrolled in a training course, or research the topic more online. Be vigilant about training. Complacency will get you in trouble.
        • 4
        Michael There are good habits to help keep yourself situationally aware, such as identifying the entrances/exits when you go into a building and selecting a vantage point to see all who are coming/going. When bad actors arrive, you can know before things go down and have potential escape routes.
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Andrew

        In addition to situational "distractors" such as texting, chatting on the phone, etc., I would also add the problem of situational "foggers or numb-ers" such as alcohol.

        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Bill Emmes This is a great thread!!! So many people walk around every day with no clue of the environment they are in or what is even around them. We are easily distracted with cell phones, texting and ipods. I see young women walking or jogging with their ears plugged from an ipod or some music storage device. This is an easy target for an attacker as this person is certainly not aware of much more than what is in front of them and the words to the song they are listening to.

        I have to say this is an area that I see far too much of and discuss a lot with my peers. My male friends who think they are too big a person for someone to mess with will sit somewhere with a headset on completely disconnected with their situational awareness and do not realize how easy a target they are since they are so distracted and an attacker can very easily come up behind them and wallop them senseless!

        I am always telling my wife to look up and look around as she is more inclined to keep her eyes down as she walks. Also, using peripheral vision to see as much as you can as things outside of your frontal vision can occur. One should also be able to listen to what is going on around them and to an extent, feel it as well.

        Pause, Look & Listen are some of the best pieces of advice to gain a situational awareness of an environment that has been so well posted by everyone so far! Trust is another important tool. Trust your gut if you think something is not right and you feel uneasy in an area. Truth is, it probably is not safe!

        I try to teach my wife to look at a situation and immediately plan on how she can move quickly to escape or move away from a dangerous confrontation. Know your surroundings and be aware of the things around you should you need to act quickly. Unfortunately, people today tend to think of this as being paranoid and are too busy multi-tasking to take such advice seriously. Best advice is to slow down and simply pay attention.
      • 10 more comments
      • 5
      Positives AND negatives for new martial arts students over 60?
      Since we have a good number of "mature" :) martial arts students & instructors on this site, I thought you might like to share some of your knowledge & give some advice. What would you tell to a person who was over 60 and thinking about joining a martial arts school? What positives & negatives would you discuss? What have you discovered being a 60+ year old martial artist? What advice would you give so they could get the most out of the training and avoid common training pitfalls for older students?

      What are your thoughts on injuries? Flexibility requirements? Balance? Keeping up with younger members? Strength improvements? Mental benefits? Other issues specific to older martial arts students?

      In addition, based on your experience, how does a new 60+ year old martial arts student differ from a new middle aged 40+ year old student? Would you give vastly different advice to these two student groups?

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 5
        Graeme Reay I've just done my returned to kyokushin karate as an almost 60 year old (March) returning after a gap of 8 years. I had reached 1st Dan when I stopped, due to a non-karate related serious back injury and a job change that meant I was then commuting 4 hours a day making it almost impossible to get to training sessions. I have a few initial observations to perhaps complement whats been said already:

        - Muscle memory stay with you for a lot longer than you might expect. Though I absolutely murdered the katas we ran through this week they are defintiely still inside me somewhere! A bit of solid application and practice will help to get them out

        - There is no substitute for good old solid repetition (see above) to help build technique but being that bit older maybe helps you use your brian more efficiently to break things down and get them right. Unlike some of the younger karateka who rush offf all flailing armsd and legs, impressing themselves with their own flexibility and speed but never quite nailing things properly. In a kata an averagely executed bloick, kick or punch is still average, no matter how fast you can do it. And accuracy and power can often trump speed

        - Like being a total beginner again, the hardest step is the one that takes you into the dojo, either for the first time or as a returner. Once you have made ithat step, things will get easier

        - While away from karate, not only did I lose physical strength, power and flexibility I lost mental strength and robustness too. It took me years to realise this. Already I can feel mental strength returning and this will help me greatly in my work and personal life. I value this as much or even more than the (slow) inprovements I am seeing in my physical capabilities

        - Have realistic expectations and set yourself small, incremental short-term goals. Acheiving them spurs you on. Failing to hit a major less realsistic goal might demoralsie you so much you give up

        - Work with what you have got and adapt. At 17 stone (240lbs 109kg) I am 2 stones heavier than I was whem I reached 1st Dan and it isnt going to disappear any time soon. Ok, I'm not as flexible as I was and sparring with lithe young kickers is a challenge but getting up closer to stop them dictating things and let me use MY approach, weight and techniques gives them something to think about

        - The 3 day rule still seems to apply. Train on Wednesday, ache on Thursday, hurt on Friday, raring to go again on Saturday!!

        To anyone of a similar age who is thinking of starting karate or returning after a long lay off all I can really say is, please give it a try. Don't let a number on a page be a barrier. Of course be sensible and careful, and get checked out medically beforehand if you have any concerns. The rewards will be fantastic and you will also meet some great people. The bonds you build can last for life
        • 3
        Mike 57 years old here.
        Even when your brain thinks 25, remember you're 60
        Don't try to out muscle the 18 year olds
        Teen aged girls can and will kick you in the head
        Aches and pains don't go away in 3 days anymore
        2 minutes on the bag really is a long time
        The young women & men really do look up to you
        You inspire the parents in the audience
        "Old man strength" is a real thing
        • 3
        Graeme Reay Kyokushin dojo sparring this week. Now I can't tell whether my thighs are hurting because of trying to bunny hop up the dojo or from kicks during sparring. Both is suspect! But do you know what? I feel great. Alive! Only been a few weeks since I can back to training after a 7 year break but can already see and feel the difference it had made to both my fitness and confidence
      • 44 more comments
      • 5
      Online instruction... where do we draw the line?
      With a few of the posts recently, I have been thinking what impact/role should the internet have in the expansion of martial arts.

      The way I see it, YouTube instructors aren't much different than the VCR sense's of the 80's. They demonstrate the movements, teach the terminology, and can reach far more people than at a physical location. The obvious limitations of VCR instruction is that although we can pause and rewind the tape, we can never get any more than what was recorded. We will never get feedback on how we are performing the techniques, we will never be able to ask questions or get further clarification. None of the concepts will ever be expanded upon (unless a new volume is released).

      YouTube has the benefit of being a living medium where comments can be made, questions added, and new content provided. However, the creators of videos in the 80's were highly reputable masters of their own style whereas literally anyone can be on YouTube. I have seen plenty of videos of alleged "masters" who were obvious frauds and people who claimed they can do "no touch knockouts". On the other hand, there are plenty of legitimate videos out there, like Sensei Ando and Karate Culture.

      So, my question for you is what is Ok to teach via YouTube, what kind of things should only be taught one-on-one and what is toeing the line? Should there be expectation for instructors to show their credentials in their videos or on their site? How should the Internet (YouTube and social media) be leveraged to promote a dojo?
        • 4
        Andy Completely agree with all posts on this thread! I would also add that without other trained personnel to spar against and learn with (and from) then you have absolutely no idea as to whether what you have learned via video is effective or not (and a genuine situation is certainly not the place to suddenly realise that your 'become a 12th dan Ninja in 6 months video' was complete horsecrap!
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Personally, I think that online videos should only be used to reinforce what you have already learned (i.e. remind you of the steps in a particular kata) or to show to new techniques that you might want to practice with a trained martial arts instructor (as you need a live partner to learn how to apply a technique, a trained instructor to avoid injuries, a trained instructor to correct any mistakes, etc.).

        You see lots of schools starting to put out videos because they think the videos will help them to attract new students and will help to boost the credentials of the school & instructors.

        • 2
        Al W I use the interwebs to look at Kata, I learn it and then ask my instructor to help me iron out the kinks
      • 14 more comments
      • 5
      Are martial arts movies good or bad for martial arts?
      Did you get sucked into martial arts after you had seen Bruce Lee fight his way upstairs the pagoda in “Game of Death”? Good, and you are certainly not the only one! But are martial arts movies actually good or bad for martial arts? Martial arts movies have undoubtedly been pivotal in popularizing once obscure, only regionally known self-defense systems. However, what is shown of these arts on the screen are (for the most part) flashy, heavily choreographed fighting scenes that bear little resemblance to the kind of real life combat that these systems were originally developed for (Bruce Lee himself once mentioned that that for his movies he preferred flashier over less flashy but more effective techniques). So, have martial arts movies shaped the way martial arts are perceived and through this corrupted them?
        • 4
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS GOOD for martial arts!, I believe karate movies plays as a good marketing tool for interest and recruitment for those who have the desire to join a real karate class. Movies do motivate and create excitement, as most people realize that karate moves are rehearsed and is part of the fantasy world. Moreover, the moves had to be practiced by real karate individualists to make it into entertainment, so quality karate movements are recognized by those individualists. Even as a student of the arts; old karate movies provide a theme for entertainment and even a cultural lesson from the ancient times, and to some other karate-ka, it provides the technical expertise and meaning of techniques, that educates the practioner and practicing karate judges in identifying point contacts in there fight scenes. I do agree on the other hand, that karate movies can be sinuous, and they do shape the martial arts to a false-hood in real life. Today, the opinions of Internet karate junkies have no basis of professional karate degrees and experiences, that only confuse the young practicing karate-ka as they strive towards their karate journey. The only good measurement of this practice comes from the real experienced karate-ka to realize that, comparison of karate styles is controversal and has no relevance to one's karate development. In that, real life karate is a serious dedicated development, while movies are what they are, just movies for entertainment which causes karate enthusiasm!
        • 0 4 votes
        • Reply
        • 2
        Ray I am still asked when the spinning back jump flip kick with ninja stars and smoke will be taught.

        The other day I was closing down the gym when I was seriously asked. " how long till I can be like the guy from enter the badlands?" This was asked by an adult.

        I was once asked if I could get the instructor to skip all the "fluff training" and move on to the real ninja stuff.

        Calling the movies the gate way drug is puting it mildly
        • 0 2 votes
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        • 2
        Al W Martial Arts in movies and tv shows could be considered the "Gateway Drug" for kids. They see famous MA practitioners perform flash moves and think "Wow I want to do that".

        As [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] said, without movies the MA community would be very small.
        On the plus side there would be less McDojos
      • 18 more comments
      • 5
      How to be better fighter than a UFC or MMA fighter?
      Was training in a park recently with more experienced friend

      A passerby walked up and said that we looked good but asked if it could beat an MMA fighter. Before i could say anything my friend spoke up.

      "Absolutely....UFC has 31 rules - i have none. I would break every rule there is and probably a few they didnt even think to make."

      It was a great response!
        • 3
        Bobby McFarlane HAHA. As the "arrogant" guy who is being quoted in the original post (thanks for the undo praise Chris) I feel I should throw in my two cents. Because it is easy and even understandable to make assumptions about me and my philosophy when everyone fills in the blanks around one phrase I spoke. Everyone here is making good points. The question asked was in the context of, is it possible for you, a more traditional martial artist, to beat a professional. This is usually and in this case asked in a out of the ring self defense context. Not "can you personally beat any given MMA fighter I put in front of you right now?" And not "Will you beat an MMA fighter?" It would be bold to assume I could beat any given person without some information on the scenario. and even then "shit happens" is a real possibility... I could lose to a ten year old girl with a well placed even accidental strike. Likely? no. But possible. ... Let me deconstruct the biggest points here to explain my answer a bit more.

        "There is no saying an MMA fighter wont fight dirty."
        Totally true but not substantial. I train in a traditional combative art that looks for dirty fighting and aims to defend dirty fighting as well as use it. Fool proof? No... but the reason I say I will break their rules first, is because they usually don't train to defend those things because it would be a waste of training time for them. If you end up in a fight with a Pro boxer I would expect you would not go toe to toe with boxing techniques... kick him in the shin, the groin, wrap him up and grapple with him and he is going to have a lot more trouble with you. Many MMA techniques are built to be somewhat air tight... IF certain rules protect them. This is not exclusive to MMA its true in every martial art mine included. Techniques outside our wheelhouse are dangerous. An MMA rear naked choke is devastating and I challenge you to tell me how you would get out of it in the ring. Put an MMA fighter in a rear naked, cinch it in nice and tight and correctly and ask him to get out for the sake of his life before he passes out... and watch him struggle to get his chin down push your arm up wiggle etc... it wont work. Drive a thumb deep through his eye ball (yes this takes practice but yes I have practice), he will go. Sand in the eyes, clawing, kicking while they are down, weapons... Pro fighters don't usually train these things. Does that make me a better fighter? Heck No. MMA fighters are amazing fighters and athletes. Is it POSSIBLE to beat them in a fight? yep, start by breaking their rules and being a trained fighter yourself. True of any martial art or sport art.

        Comparing Martial arts as better or worse is foolish in most cases. You can train MMA 6 days a week and never fully pressure test your skills and end up a less effective fighter. You can ALSO train at a McDojo two nights a week and go home and work your butt off to understand the art, pressure test your skills in a safe environment, study the details, work through drills and become an excellent fighter out of a McDojo. VERY few fights ever really come down to my art is better than yours, that's the stuff of movies and video games. A real fight is too complex to fully calculate... it is one person vs another in one situation vs another with whatever level of awareness and readiness they have going for them THAT DAY. We train with the goal of our worst day being better than our opponents best day but that is not always the cards we are dealt. In any fight you should avoid the fight first because you likely have NO IDEA how it will go... if you end up in a fight you do your best with what you have but you better believe the more good training you have, the more likely it will be POSSIBLE to overcome your opponent whether they are an MMA fighter or an untrained child. Never underestimate your opponent...

        Side note... Yeah I know its the internet but don't ASSUME that everyone who says anything that you disagree with out of context is untrained, inexperienced, arrogant, or even being fully understood. They probably aren't... but maybe they are :P
        • 2
        Al W UFC/MMA shouldn't be the standard to which all MA are judged against.
        • 2
        James I agree broadly with both. One of the problems is that many of the techniques that are outide the rulebook either are very very difficult to land on a trained fighter or simply arent as effective as we'd like to believe.for example trying to get s thumb in the eye of a trained fighter is easier said than done and even if you get there as unpleasant as it may be its not a fight ender on its own. Strikes to the groin can take several seconds for the pain to register and can be fought through. The reality is that most of the fight ending knock out stuff is trained in by UFC guys every day and as [171807,Andy] says the key is to be as strong, fast and conditioned as they are as well as having a variety of interesting techniques to give you an exrra advantage.
      • 34 more comments
      • 5
      Is boxing a martial art?
      Is boxing considered to be a martial art by traditional martial artists?
        • 1
        Andrew Brown I would argue it is a Sport Martial Art due to all of the rules Boxers must follow and the Glove requirement.
        Ever watch two boxers without gloves? Fight ends in a few seconds with one on the ground and the victor with a broken hand.
        • 1
        Rob Wallace The sweet science, I would say definitely yes.....perhaps not in the traditional sense... but I would say fits all the markers of a martial art.
        • 1
        Luke I would say yes and no. It is one in its own right, but it mainly has a sport focus. Doesn't mean you cant beat the crap out of someone or that it doesn't install disipline, respect or fitness. Its kind of good for aggression building actually and the tangent is stopping.
      • 34 more comments
      • 5
      Member's Showcase
      I see videos on here of people at competitions, and various other forms of media. Wouldn't it be nice if we could see each other perform our respective styles/arts? So I'm creating this post just for that, no videos of Chuck Norris roundhousing squirrels or any other videos of non -members.

      Criticism is always welcome but keep it clean and no bullying. Remember we're all different with different levels of skills and athletic ability
        • 2
        Al W Me performing Heian Nidan at the 2016 AMA Southern Open in Maidstone Kent

        This was my first competition and I was nervous as hell
        • 1
        J&J My 8 year old son poomse blue belt.
        • 1
        J&J My son winning his second Grand Championship for weapons at 8 years old. Testing for his brown belt in Taekwondo next week.
      • 75 more comments
      • 5
      Luca Valdesi - Unsu kata
      Demonstration of Unsu Kata
        • 1
        John Luttrell As part of our club's 15th anniversary we had a course on Unsu with Sensei Hazard and Sensei Trimbel it was excellent and we all learned a great deal. If you get a chance to train with either of these gentlemen you will learn a lot.
        • 1
        Al W Can anyone help me develop the jump in this kata? I need to learn to perform the Sempu Tobi Geri on both legs for reasons that will remain classified at present
        • 1
        Al W If I could be half as good as him then I would count myself lucky
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      • 5
      Trials & tribulations of running a martial arts school
      What are the major problems of running a martial arts school? Does it involve finding students, accidents, training monotony, weekend schedules, non payers, legal issues, etc.?

      Since we have a number of martial arts school instructors and/or owners in this community (such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [174082,Andrea Harkins The Martial Arts Woman]" , [186241,Nathalie] , [181642,Ced] , [175467,Kenneth Winthrop] , [178814,Patrick Lee] and many others), I thought they might share their "trials & tribulations" in order to educate others.

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        John Graden The primary challenge is to learn to look at your school through the eyes of your market and not yours. Those of us who train like beasts and become professional school owners are "different." We can't expect that the average person will have the same passion we do.

        Second to that is a lack of training as a teacher. If you don't get these two right, all the business systems in the world won't help.

        John Graden
        • 1
        Nathalie Hello everyone,

        My boyfriend and I operate a kyokushin karate school and I am training 2 teens to become junior black belts and 1 girl who is going for her first dan at the age of 24. This young lady has been avid at our school since 2011. Listening, being present, showing up, training, etc...Now, she trains 5-6 days per week to prep for the big test. I love her determination and she is very sweet.

        The thing is that she is very soft in her movements as in katas, she speaks very low, when she is quizzed, if we can't read lips, we don't get what her answer is and she has never kiai'd in the 5 years that she's been with us. She is very shy and does not socialize with anyone. Not that she has to but there is never a conversation unless someone else engages her, she just picks up her stuff after class and she is gone in a flash.

        I can kind of relate to her because growing up and as a young adult, I was morbidly shy but I made myself get over it and though I get fleeting thoughts of self-doubt sometimes, I don't let those get in my way. I even remember being shy to kiai in class and thinking, after a few years of hearing others just let it all out, that I better get over that one before I get noticed as the one who is scared to kiai so I just do it from the gut, especially since my brown belt level training for my bb test.

        I have explained the meaning of the kiai to the group (oh, and they do it but they hold back so much) (thank you Jesse, btw, for your great articles, I love referring to them) the importance of putting power into their katas plus how important the breathing is as in Sanchin kata . She will nod, agree and just continue to do what she usually does, soft punches and mouth shut, not a sound of breath nor kiai.

        One of my previous instructors who is strict suggested that during the kata part of the test, we should make them all redo the katas over and over until done perfectly (as in our usual way of testing) but make sure all the kiais are heard clearly otherwise this segment won't end.

        My first question is: Is it not a must at this level? and How do I make her feel secure enough to express herself? (believe it or not she has a masters degree in communications).

        Thank you for your attention

        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        Ray Late to the party but.....

        I do not own or run my school. Nor do I have a real say in anything.

        I do have the largest class. My own account for gear with kwon u.s.a. I get everyone set up for tournaments open up most days, and sub for some of the other instructors on a regular basis.

        My biggest obstacle is not owning my own gym.
      • 28 more comments

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